I have always associated the month of March to school graduations. In about three weeks, most students will march their way out from school, and further into the real world. Graduation, however, reminds me of two significant events in my college life.
My (then) boyfriend of almost four years broke up with me for some inexplicable reason on the same day of our thesis defense. That was in October 2008. If this wasn’t enough reason for despair, our finals commenced the following week. He wasn’t my first boyfriend, but it was the longest relationship I had been with, hence it was a really terrible break-up. I woke up one morning, and he was gone. He vanished into thin air just like that. No calls, no explanations, nothing. My close friends were the first to know, and they tried their best to console me, but the pain was just unbearable.
Every day for a week, I went to hear evening mass after school hours. I prayed that the adversity I was going through does not affect my studies because there’s no room for failures—I was supposed to graduate in a few months. I held on to faith although it was difficult to focus on anything else. My family knew about the bad break-up three weeks later. They didn’t have any inclination because for three arduous weeks, I tried my best to mask my emotions at home.
When results of our final examinations were out, I was more than relieved to see that I passed all my subjects. Thank God.
Just when I thought everything was doing great, an encounter with our thesis group leader put my chances of graduating at stake. We were a group of four ladies. It was the same semester that I was elected as class president, and since we were graduating, I was burdened with additional tasks on top of the usual things class presidents were expected to do. I literally put my classmates’ needs before my own.
One morning, our thesis group leader called me at seven o’clock on a Saturday morning (no class) to let me know that I am expected to pay her a certain amount for the printing and binding cost of our thesis paper, and that I needed to be in school in one hour. She sensed my hesitation, and immediately emphasized that she sent a text message at 2:00AM to give me heads-up. WHO IN THE RIGHT MIND READS TEXT MESSAGES AT THIS UNGODLY HOUR? I told her that, and she started yelling on the other end of the line. I began raising my voice, too, because she was being irrationally hysterical.
This encounter with our thesis group leader led me to re-defend our thesis all by myself. She claimed I was not at all participating in group discussions, and failed to contribute in the study altogether. My mother thought it was a sweeping statement when she could not present a proof to support this claim, but our thesis adviser and professor already decided to test my knowledge on our study.
I had about three days to prepare for my solo defense, and lo and behold, I came to pass with flying colors. Not only did I prove them all wrong, I discovered a new kind of confidence I never knew I had.
I emerged victorious. I have been delayed for a year due to my back subjects in my second year in college; nothing stopped me from graduating that year.
These two experiences boil down to two important things that really matter. With strong faith and unwavering support from family and friends, anything is possible.